Bloody Mary Bombs

Bloody Mary Bombs

This long weekend has seen many a Caribbean BBQ and social occasion (read: lots of daytime drinking).

I love a good pot luck lunch and it gave me a chance to break out one of my favourite crowd-pleasing snacks – the Bloody Mary Bomb (edible Bloody Mary skewers – what’s not to love??)


Bloody Mary Bombs –

1 punnet Cherry tomatoes

3 sticks of Celery, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

3 rashers of Bacon, chopped into 1″ pieces

1c Vodka

3 tbsp Worcester Sauce

1 tbsp Tabasco

1 tsp Lemon Pepper

Jar of pimento stuffed green olives

Mix 1c of vodka (this isn’t exactly a strict measurement, more of a suggestion, use as much as you like) with 3tbsp of Worcester sauce and 1tbsp Tabasco sauce (I like the smoked Tabasco with chipotle chilis) add a tsp of lemon pepper, taste and set aside.

Skewer your tomatos (poking a few different holes all over) and add the celery pieces to the skewers, pour your vodka mixture over the skewers, trying to ensure that they’re evenly coated with the liquid, cover and put aside for a 2-3 hours (or overnight, if you can wait that long)

Meanwhile cut your bacon into 1″ pieces and fry (bonus: sprinkle 1 tbsp of brown sugar over the bacon as it cooks for a brown sugar glaze). Remove from the heat once cooked.

Drain the vodka mixture (into a glass with some ice, if you have any sense – add tomato juice and enjoy!) and add an olive and piece of bacon to each skewer.

Serve proudly (smug look as your dish disappears is optional…)

Makes around 30


Yummy!

What did you guys get up to this weekend – were you getting a well earned break and relaxing or out partying?

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Boozy Ice Lollies

Boozy Ice Lollies

Happy Friday guys and girls!

So, with all the long weekends we’ve been having in the BVI recently, I’ve been having ample time to practice and perfect my boozy ice lollies and I wanted to share some of the successful concoctions with you – I started with the classic Gin and Tonic, progressed to Pimms and then decided to branch out with a Pomegranate Rose Spritzer.
See the recipes below:
:: Gin and Tonic –

1 cup Tonic

1/2 shot Gin (my preference would be Tanqueray or Hendricks)

1/4 lime squeezed

Slices of cucumber for garnish

:: Pimms –

1/4 cup Pimms

1/3 cup Ginger Ale

1/3 cup Sprite or Lemonade

Slices of strawberry and/or cucumber for garnish
:: Pomegranate Rose Spritzer –

1/4 cup Rose

3/4 cup Lemonade or Club Soda

1/2 shot Pama Pomegranate Liquer

Pomegranate seeds to garnish


Each of these recipes makes 3/4 lollies depending on the size of your molds. I wanted to be able to make a selection. Double up, or whatever, to make more.
Soak ice lolly sticks in water for 30 minutes, mix ingredients and pour into the mold, add the garnishes and insert sticks. Freeze overnight.

Note: because of the alcohol the lollies will melt a little faster than usual. You’ll just need to eat them quickly! 🙂

Next on my list are some other favourites, Aperol Spritz, Margarita, Mojito and Sangria. Any other ideas?

PS. Warning: these lollies are not for the faint of heart…

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Silky White Bean Soup

Silky White Bean Soup

The inspiration for this soup comes from my favourite restaurant in Old San Juan, Marmalade. Their tasting menus are to die for and I always make a point to visit when I’m in town.
One of Chef Peter Schintler’s signature dishes is a Tiny White Bean Soup that is unbelievably delicious and it inspired me to try make something similar at home. His recipe can be found all over the internet, (here and here, for example) but I wanted to adapt it slightly, making it a little less rich (and more diet-friendly) without the heavy cream. My recipe also requires a lot less prep time so is suitable for a quick weeknight dinner.

2 cans of small white beans, rinsed and drained

1 onion, diced

3 stalks of celery, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

5 cups of low sodium chicken stock

4 pieces of bacon

2 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

Salt and Pepper to season

Truffle oil to finish

Serves 4
:: Chop bacon into 1/2″ pieces and cook on a medium to high heat in a large saucepan. Remove bacon pieces when nicely crispy and set aside, add the onion, celery and garlic to cook in the rendered bacon fat.

:: After 8-10 minutes, once the onion has become translucent add the drained white beans, stir through the pan and then add the chicken stock. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
:: Remove the beans and veg from the stock with a slotted spoon, add a spoonful of broth and blend until silky smooth. Add the puréed veggies and beans back to the rest of the stock and finish with an immersion blender to ensure that everything is well combined and perfectly  smooth.
:: Dry sauté the slices of scallion in a hot pan until slightly charred and use to garnish your bowls of soup along with the crumbled bacon and a swirl of truffle oil.

It’s super more-ish so try not to eat the whole pan yourself – enjoy!

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Quick and Easy Weekend Breakfasts

Quick and Easy Weekend Breakfasts

Good Morning and Happy Friday! With the weekend so close we can practically taste it, I’ve put together some of my favourite cheat day breakfasts for you – just in time for Saturday and Sunday!!

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I’ve mentioned previously a bit about my weekday breakfasts (smoothies) here – but now I thought I’d share a little about my weekend breakfast routine, on those magical days when I can take a bit more time and create a meal to enjoy on our deck.

Day-to-day I’m following a pretty strict low-carb diet, but Saturdays (and occasionally Sundays, if I’m completely honest) are my cheat day and it’s a time to relax a little. I still like to cheat clean though (relatively speaking) so without throwing all caution to the wind, here are my favourite cheat day breakfasts:

:: Banana Protein Pancakes – super fast and with only three ingredients, this just might be the easiest breakfast ever.

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1 large ripe banana

2 eggs

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use an egg white powder but presumably any would work)

Bonus: these are also excellent with a large spoon of peanut butter

Serves 2 – makes 8 small pancakes.

Mash your banana and add the eggs, whisk well and mix in one scoop of your protein powder. (Add your peanut butter at this point, if you’re using it).

Grease pan with a drop of coconut oil and place on a medium/high heat. Add large spoons of pancake mixture (3″-5″ across) and cook until it starts to bubble. Flip and cook the other side.

Garnish with sliced banana or strawberry and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar (optional – pancakes are plenty sweet enough by themselves)

For a little added indulgence (or just to mix it up occasionally), sprinkle chocolate chips or blueberries onto the pancakes before you flip them.

 

:: Avocado Toast with Poached Egg – a breakfast that looks as beautiful as it tastes! I can’t be the only one obsessed with avocado toast, not only is it picture-perfectly Instagrammable but it’s bloody delicious (disclaimer: I would eat avocado with everything if I could)

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2 slices of whole meal or sourdough bread

1 avocado

4 eggs

Zest of one lemon

1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Salt and Pepper to season

Serves 2

Put a medium saucepan full of water on a high heat and add a tbsp of white vinegar. Bring the water to a boil.

Meanwhile toast your bread, mash the avocado and season with salt and pepper, add lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes before spreading half of the mixture onto each slice of toast.

Once the water has reached boiling turn the temperature down and wait for the bubbles to subside, swirl the water gently and drop your eggs into the center. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the whites are firm.

Top each slice of avocado toast with 2 poached eggs and garnish with some shaved Parmesan and more cracked black pepper.

 

:: Sweet Omlette – this one is almost as easy as the protein pancakes and again requires very few ingredients.

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2 eggs

1 tsp of maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (cinnamon helps regulate your blood sugar level)

1 tbsp chia seeds (optional for extra protein)

Serves 1

Beat your eggs and add the rest of the ingredients, mix well.

Grease a small pan with a drop of coconut oil and place on a medium/high heat. Add your egg mixture once pan is hot and cook, moving the egg mixture from the sides to the middle to allow it to cook evenly. Once one side is done, flip for another couple of minutes on the other side.

Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, some blueberries and toasted almond slices – or whatever you fancy really!

 

:: Shakshuka – I had been wanting to try this for the longest time and finally got around to making it last weekend, it is now a firm favourite and will be making its way into regular brunch rotation.

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1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

Large handful of fresh spinach (kale or Swiss chard), roughly chopped

4 eggs

Salt and pepper to season

(Optional: fresh parsley and crumbled feta to garnish, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes if you like a bit more heat, sourdough toast to serve)

Serves 2

Grease a large frying pan with a drop of olive oil and put on a medium heat. Once pan is hot add the onion and sauté until translucent, add the pepper, garlic, tomato paste and jalapeño and cook until softened – around 4-5 minutes.

Add your diced tomatoes and spices to the pan, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes, adding the leafy greens in to wilt just before the end.

Finally, crack your eggs into the tomato mixture and cover the pan, let the mixture simmer for another 6-8 minutes (depending on firm you like your eggs) or until the whites of the eggs are cooked.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese and cracked black pepper. Serve with toasted sourdough if you’re missing the carbs.

 

All of these recipes are packed with protein and make for a fantastic start to your weekend – so enjoy! It’s a public holiday in the BVI on Monday so I’ll be making lots of breakfast favourites… Do you have any that I should try?

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Cauliflower, Chickpea and Quinoa Curry

Cauliflower, Chickpea and Quinoa Curry

 

It’s actually a Cauliflower, Chicken, Chickpea, Quinoa and Coconut Curry as I wanted to get as many ‘C’ ingredients in as I could (Quinoa totally counts, right?)

This recipe came about after inspiration from DeliciouslyElla’s Chickpea, Quinoa and Turmeric curry.

It’s been unseasonably chilly in the Caribbean of late and I was craving something warm and comforting. What I really wanted was a huge bowl of carbs (like creamy mac and cheese or a curry rice bowl), but instead I decided to use her recipe and tweak it to make it lower carb and more suited to my diet (Quinoa is a bit of a cheat but a girl needs a break every now and again!)

So, using DeliciouslyElla’s recipe as inspiration, I first subbed the potato for cauliflower (which I actually prefer since it’s tastier) I also replaced half the coconut milk with chicken stock. You get (almost) the same coconut flavor with less of the carbs and fat, and lastly added the chicken breasts for some extra lean protein (shrimp would also work really well but, ya know, it doesn’t start with C so it didn’t make the cut…)

(Want to keep it veggie? Leave out the chicken/shrimp and just use vegetable stock or consider adding tofu for some additional protein)

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Ingredients:

1 cauliflower head, chopped into florets

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp coconut oil (or preferred oil for cooking)

1″ piece of ginger, peeled and diced

3 cloves of garlic, diced

3 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp chili flakes (or more to taste)

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1/2 can of coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

2 skinless chicken breasts, chopped

6 oz uncooked white Quinoa

Generous handful of fresh spinach

Chopped cilantro and toasted cashew nuts to garnish (more C’s)

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan on a medium/high heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic and ginger, stir until onion starts to look translucent.
  3. Add chicken breast and cook until seared on the outside, remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Add cauliflower to the hot pan and 1/2 cup of chicken stock – put lid on to steam the cauliflower.
  5. Once cauliflower has started to soften add chickpeas, turmeric, chili flakes, coconut milk, Quinoa, remaining stock, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. After 15 minutes add back the chicken and allow to cook through (another 10-15 minutes)
  7. Finally add spinach to the pan and let it wilt into the Curry. Quinoa should be nice and fluffy and excess moisture will have been absorbed.
  8. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and toasted cashews.

Serves 4-6 depending on how greedy hungry you are.

Prep time 20 mins, Cook time 30 minutes

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Any of you got any low carb comfort food favourites that I can try when I’m craving pasta and cheese…??

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